How to SING BETTER LOW NOTES: How to SING IN CHEST VOICE

Are you struggling to either access your chest voice function or to sing lower notes with comfort, a good tone, and carrying power? In this video, I offer some tips and a few exercises for improving our low notes.

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karyn@singwise.com

12 thoughts on “How to SING BETTER LOW NOTES: How to SING IN CHEST VOICE”

    1. Yes, that’s a common problem, and that’s what the twang and ‘gee’ exercises (in the last half of this video) address. They help us get better glottal closure and therefore a stronger sound source signal – a more powerful sound with minimal effort. When you write, “keeping up the volume,” do you mean that your voice gets quieter as you sustain a low tone (e.g., it loses its energy and loudness)?

    2. Yes, I sing in a Soprano Alto Bass Tenor (4 member! ) Camerata, and I feel like I break the balance between all of us at my lower range because the other 3 have good power, good energy and my parts sound so quiet, no matter how hard I try. I guess I have a bad technique and need this exercises, starting TODAY.

    3. I teach a small a cappella singing class for teens who don’t usually have any performance experience or training. I end up filling in on any part that seems to be the weakest and needs some extra support. That means that I might have to sing soprano on one song, alto on the next, and tenor on the next after that. When I have to sing the tenor part, it’s usually right at the bottom of my range. The first time I sang this part, I tried pushing and forcing a louder sound, and my voice started feeling tired and sore. Then I got smart and started using more twang. The brightness of twang ‘cuts’ through better – it ‘hits’ the ear more powerfully because of the higher frequencies to which our ears are more sensitive – even if the sound isn’t actually louder (greater amplitude).

  1. Overall, I really like this video! It’s pretty solid, but there are a few things I think you should mention:

    Vocal fry can also be referred to as m0 in some contexts, although yours sounded more as if it was m1. (vocal fry can be use in any mechanism) Maybe mention that M0 can be used and is a valid sound for many singers, especially basses. Many basses speak primarily in m0. As a trans girl, before I started to feminize my voice, I actually quite frequently talked in m0 without realizing it. M0 can create a very full sound. If you’d like proof, take a look at a Russian oktavist choir.

    Twang, while it can be useful for projection, may not be the best option for say… A bass, who tries to keep their timbre darker with a lower larynx. Larynx height usually follows pitch (though, as you mentioned, can be changed).

    You can also maybe explore how further use of a higher closed quotient to help access lower notes via things like glottal strikes or more TA engagement.

    Also, while you kind of correct about some people talking in m2, it’s incredibly uncommon, and is actually considered a vocal disorder called puberphonia (I’d link you a website, but I don’t want my comment marked as spam, ahhh). While women tend to go up into M2 more often than men, most of them stay in m1 during regular speech. If you’d like proof of this, consider the fact that the average speaking pitch for women is about A3, and the fact that most women (untrained, at least) can’t easily go below G3. Not only that, the passagio break of most women is around G4-C5m so carrying m2 down that low will sound very unnatural.

    Thanks for the video! I really enjoyed it. I’ll definitely add some of these exercises as a part of my toolkit X)

    1. All of things are true! However, in order to keep the video to a reasonable length, I can’t possibly share absolutely everything that I know about the voice or a given aspect of vocal production in a single video. (Some people already complain that I talk too much about theory as it is!) I have to try to determine what I feel is most relevant to the topic and the most applicable to the largest percentage of singers. That being said, I’ve actually worked with a few singers who speak (or used to speak, prior to lessons and working concurrently with SLPs) in M2 – two female (average speaking pitch around C4) and one male. It’s always such a breakthrough when they access their M1 function for the first time, or for the first time in a long time (e.g., after years of muscle tension dysphonia). And I’ve also worked with a few classically trained sopranos who were, in fact, trained to carry M2 down as low as they could, which was usually to about A3 or G3. The tone thins considerably and lacks any kind of ‘substance’ below about middle C. (And, not coincidentally, most classical repertoire for sopranos doesn’t go below middle C.) M0 is indeed a vocal register, but vocal fry is also a quality that, as you’ve mentioned, can be applied to any register. And yes, bass singers access and use M0 more than most. (Some of us can’t access M0 at all.) I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

    2. Thanks for your response! Yeah, haha, I wasn’t suggesting you put *all* of it in the video, but some of it might be useful information to add in X) Keep up the great work! : )

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